February, New Beginnings
February was a month of heat waves and dry winds. Average temperatures peaking high in to the 30s and the long awaited rains have still not yet come. The summer rains that have been so gracious in the preceding 2 years have not yet come in its full might although we have received some lighter rainfall. The little rain that arrived in February is only enough to keep the reserve’s waterholes buzzing with activity as herds of elephant continually pass by the lodge to keep hydrated under the hot Madikwe sun. If the lack of rain is to continue we may be in for a drought.
We are thrilled to announce the build on our new additional family villa, The Sovereign House has begun. Boasting three bedrooms and a breath taking view we eagerly look forward to the opening soon! This room will include it’s own private safari vehicle. We will also be converting our current Emperor Suite into gym.
We had the best seat in the house when the wild dog pack made our waterhole their haven. In full view right from our deck while having breakfast we watched them playing and interacting. In the late afternoon a herd of elephant came past and chased the wild dogs away from the much sought after water source.
The painted wolf characterized by its distinctive colours is a highly social animal and together are incredible hunters consuming their prey in a mere few minutes. What’s more, we welcomed a new pack of 8 wild dogs into the reserve and they have adapted well to their new surroundings. The pack has been seen around all around the park making themselves at home.
We spent some time following the cheetah where we watched as a male rolled in the dust right next to our vehicle. Dust bathing is used to clean parasites and rid the fur of unwanted itches. The dust also provides protection from the sun.
Everyone is trying to cool off! This beautiful dagga boy seems to have enjoyed the full use of the elements the bush has to offer. As in dust bathing, covering the skin with mud is a way to combat the heat and aids as a natural protection against sunburn. Other animals that may be seen wallowing in the mud are rhino and even warthogs!
February was a tough month with a lack of rain but we are in the process of drilling additional bore holes to help us through the expected dry months. As the exciting new additions are taking shape, we look forward to a busy March.